Bible Stories for the Young

Seeing Clearly

Start With Your Own Eyes


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Seeing Clearly : Start With Your Own Eyes

Once when Jesus was talking to people about how to live their lives, He told them, “Don’t judge others. If you do, then you will be judged.

“Don’t be hard on others when they mess up. Then you’ll not be treated harshly when you mess up. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

“Be generous. Be a giver! If you give, then you will get back a GOOD measure — pressed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you measure with others, is the way things will be measured for you.”

Think about it…

Think of a measuring cup, or a bowl, or a scoop of ice cream. If you were serving ice cream to everyone in a room, would it be right for you to measure out a BIG scoop of yummy ice cream for yourself, while giving someone else only a little, bitty spoon of ice cream. Booooo! You can feel the wrongness of that, can’t you?

And what if you didn’t really prefer the taste of collard greens, so you measure yourself only a little, bitty spoon of collard greens, while you give someone else a big, full bowl of them? Booooo! That’s not right. You’re not using the same measure for yourself that you use for others.

Treat others the same way you want to be treated.

The same is true for how we give things like forgiveness or correction. If you make a mistake, how do you want to be treated? If YOU would want someone to give you a nice, big measure of forgiveness if you hurt them, then make sure you use that same, big measure of forgiveness if THEY hurt you.

And if someone is doing something wrong and needs correction, then we should “measure out” just what they need to help them, not more and not less. Kind of like how your parents give you just the right amount of medicine when you’re sick, not more and not less. If you have hard feelings toward somebody when they do something wrong, then just remember that what you measure out to them now, will be what God measures out to you later. So let’s always try to use Jesus’ measure, not our own feelings-measure.

Jesus continued explaining: “A blind person shouldn’t try to lead another blind person, should he? They’ll both end up falling in a hole!

“So, why do you focus on the speck of dust in your brother’s eye, but don’t even notice you have a big stick in your own eye? Should you be saying ‘Brother, let me get a little speck of dust out of your eye for you. I can fix your problem,’ when you have a big stick in your eye? No, that’s being a hypocrite and acting like you’re better, when really you’ve got even bigger problems! First, get that big stick out of your own eye, so that then you can see clearly to help your brother get the speck out of his eye.“

Think about it…

I was trying to think of an example to help you understand this. Let’s say your friend is eating a snack and leaves some crumbs on the table. So you say to your friend, “Look at the table. You left crumbs! You made a mess and didn’t clean it all up. You should clean that up!”

But what if at that same time, your own bedroom is a disaster with toys and books and trash all over the floor.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Sure, maybe your friend should’ve noticed they left crumbs on the table. But do you think you can really help your friend learn to clean up their crumbs when you left your entire bedroom a huge mess? No! That’s called being a hypocrite. First, you need to learn to be responsible and keep your room clean. Then you can help your friend remember to clean up their crumbs and leave the table nice and clean.

Be sure to think about these things for yourself. Do you ever do things like what we’re talking about? Like say, “You have two things, you should share one with me,” when you have a whole pile of things that you’re not sharing? Or tell your friend not to fuss about eating their veggies, but you fuss about not being able to wear your favorite blue shirt? Be sure to think about these things and do something about what Jesus says.

The point of what Jesus was saying is not that we don’t deal with the fussing, or messiness — the sin in our lives. We do need to learn to clean our rooms and eat what our parents tell us with a good attitude. Sin is like those dirt specks and chunks of wood in our eyes that keep us from seeing Him clearly. And if we love Jesus, we want that stuff gone because we want to See Him clearly. Our sin hurts us and others.

Some people try to wrongly use what Jesus said to say, “Get the log out of your own eye. Don’t talk to me about my sin. Jesus said don’t judge me. So I don’t have to change.”

Yuuuck! If you read all of what Jesus said, that isn’t what He was saying, is it? He’s saying, “Start with your own eyes. Recognize that you have problems, too, and deal with those problems so that you can be a help to others.”

Jesus wasn’t saying that the other person’s sin doesn’t need to change or that you shouldn’t try to help people.

People who love Jesus and Truth don’t want logs or dust in their eyes. They want to make Jesus happy. It’s painful to have an area of blindness if you love Jesus. It hurts, and knowing you can’t see clearly to help your brother also hurts because you love your brother.

So as we clear our eyes of sticks, then in love and compassion, we can see better to help others with their little specks. Then everyone hurts less, and sees better.